Posts Tagged ‘android’

Samsung Note 4–contact sync issue

2016-01-17 Comments off

After updating my Note 4 to Android 5.1.1, I noticed that a few of my contacts weren’t synchronizing correctly from Google.  After looking into it further, I realized there were MANY contacts that were missing.  No real pattern, but I’ve never seen this before.

I tried to resolve the problem by stopping the sync for Google Contacts, but that didn’t work.  I also read several articles (many, many articles) that were inaccurate or incomplete, then I started from scratch and documented my process.

    • Removed all the accounts that synchronized contacts (Google, Samsung, Company e-mail, etc).
    • Cleared cache for all applications
    • Cleared System Cache


Process to clear system cache

  1. Press Home, Volume Up and Power buttons together.
  2. Let the Power and Home buttons go off when the Note 4 starts vibrating.
  3. Now recovery screen will be shown to you. Select Wipe Cache partition using the Volume Down key.
  4. Confirm the step by pressing the Power button.
  5. Reboot System Now option needs to be selected and confirm it by pressing the Power button.
Categories: Android, Google Tags: ,

Samsung Galaxy S3 – quick review

2013-01-05 1 comment

My original Motorola Droid was approaching four years old and over the holidays the 3G crapped out.  It was a serviceable phone, but some apps started to weigh down the phone, and if I used Navigation, I had to have it on a charger.  I was also debating the cost/benefit of keep my “unlimited data” plan versus Verizon Share Everything Plan.

After doing some online R&D and talking with friends, I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S3.  First impressions were the same as most people – it’s pretty big (4.8” screen), it’s fast (dual core, 1.5GHz and 2GB RAM).  Further observations – the display is very good, the Samsung add-on apps appear to be very useful.

First day impressions

  • Much larger than the Droid, which requires I hold it in a less secure fashion, which means I’m looking for a case with ‘grip’.  I never had a protective case for the Droid, and never needed one – I kept it in a case with a belt clip.
  • Much, much, much faster than the Droid.  Apps like Waze, Google Maps (with Navigation) that stressed the Droid, drained the battery, and made it too hot to hold run smoothly on the S3.  S3 is the honeybadger of smartphones.  S3 don’t care, it just runs apps and sips the battery.
  • First day battery life very good, but not mindboggling.  I ordered a 4200 mAh battery and case combo as well as a ‘honeycomb’ cover.
  • Bluetooth pairing, WiFi all faster.  The S3 reports 64Mbps connect speeds with my 802.11n home router (Buffalo).
  • Software
    • Less crapware loaded by Verizon than other phones I have seen. 
    • Samsung software interesting, also installed GALAXY SIII User’s Digest – online, interactive manual for phone
    • Switched to Minimalist theme and Nova Launcher

Second and third day impressions

  • Installed MobileIron (corporate ActiveSync proxy for Exchange).  Client install was simple, and Samsung supports full device encryption (but not the USB card).  Synching 30 days of mail, and I’m using the built in ‘Corporate Email’ application.  I have the option to merge mail and calendars, but I’m keeping them separate now.
  • Battery life still good, but I will need to charge it each night.  This isn’t a problem, because I’ve been doing this for years.
  • Used Waze while commuting, and it really helped on two occasions – 295 North one morning someone self-reported a major, multi-vehicle accident in the fast lane.  Police weren’t on the scene yet, but we were able to get in the slow lane and got around it pretty quickly.  Second time was coming home, 295 South was  backed up for about 100 miles, and Waze directed me to use the NJ Turnpike. 

First week impressions

  • Installed the extended battery.  It’s *huge*, but the battery fits in fine, as well as the humpback whale “Pebble Blue Back Cover”. 
  • Installed the “HoneyComb Case” is a very tight fit, but it goes on fine.


I really like the extended battery.  Battery was 90% at noon on the first day, 66% at the end of the day (18 hours).  Day two was a Saturday, less mail volume, but used GPS, Google Maps, etc extensively.  Battery at 41% after 36 hours and holding.

The case is nice.  It fits well, and I have a much more secure feel when using and handling the phone.  The down side is the HoneyComb case covers the power and volume buttons, and the cut out on the bottom of the case fouls the micro USB connector when charging the phone.  I’m using an X-Acto knife to clean things up tomorrow.  I took test photos, and even with the deeper case for the extended battery and the case cover, there is no interference when taking photos.  Also, all other ports (front sensor, speaker, microphone) are not blocked from the case.  Overall, I’m very, very pleased with the combination of the extended battery and HoneyComb case.

Reference Links

Hyperion Samsung Galaxy SIII 4200mAh Extended Battery + Pebble Blue Back Cover

Hyperion Samsung Galaxy S III Extended Battery HoneyComb TPU Case -Black

Categories: Android Tags:

UPDATE: Google “advanced sign-in security”

2011-02-20 1 comment

When you bump into people at a funeral discussing e-mail security problems, you know it’s a mainstream issue.  A woman we were chatting with just spent the better part of two weeks restoring access to her MSN account after she received a variation of the “Mugged in London” scam.  The result was someone hijacked her account and she had to work through MSN to restore access.

Just like Facebook’s support for SSL, using two factor security for Google is something everyone needs to implement.

The process is detailed on The Official Google Blog – Advanced sign-in security for your Google account

The process is called 2-step verification – this allows you to link your account to your mobile phone, a Mobile application (Google Authenticator on the Android), and printable backup codes that you can keep in your wallet.  In addition, you can have application-specific passwords to supposed access on your smartphone.

If you’re running Google Apps on your smartphone, I recommend doing this all at once – it will eliminate password prompts and confusion later.

The process also provides a summary of Connected Sites, Apps, and Services that have access to your Google Account.  In my case, this includes access to Blogger, (Google Reader), (Google Calendar), and tweetdeck (Google Buzz).  I had forgotten about setting up Pulse access to my RSS feeds on Google Reader, but it was a good reminder.

You can revoke or renew access at any time using the 2-step verification process.

UPDATE:  Note that once you enable advanced sign-in security, you may need to generate a new password for third party applications.  I ran into this with Feeddemon, but it was a simple fix:

  1. In Google, sign in and go to My Account.
  2. Click on Using 2-step verification
  3. Go to Application-specific passwords
  4. In the section “Generate new application-specific password”, enter the name of the application (Feeddemon for my example), and click “Generate Password”
  5. A unique password will be generated containing four four character, alpha-numeric characters.  Paste this into the password prompt for your application, and you will be authenticated.
Categories: Android, mobile, security Tags: , ,

Android Software List

Lots of people are getting Android phones.  My last update was in January, so it’s overdue.  The most compelling feature of the Android devices is the integration of all the applications, and in particular with Google Services.  For example, search from the home screen can include Text, e-mail, contacts, calendar, or web. 

The Droid is the most stable smartphone I have ever used.  It has run for at least 45-50 days at a time without turning it off.  At this point, I cycle the power once a month and mute the phone each night.  I don’t recommend using a Task Killer.  Lots of people seem obsessed with killing tasks to optimize battery life.  I just don’t load tons of widgets on my phone and enable wireless and Bluetooth when I need them.  My experience is that running ActiveSync and Google Mail sync 24×7, my battery can easily last through 12-15 hour days.

Ad Hoc Apps – there are several times I have installed an app to solve a problem.  I’m am constantly amazed at the variety and quality of applications available for Android phones. 

Favorite Apps

  • Google Sky App – I use this at night in the back yard to explore the night sky before going to bed.  The dog gets some exercise, and I unwind a bit. We have also used it to locate meteor showers and the Space Station.
  • Evernote – I use it to capture information for later review or reference.  It syncs with the Evernote desktop client.  There is also a Chrome plug-in so Google searches also search Evernote data.
  • Twidroyd – Twitter client, does a good job, but ever more intrusive ads in the free version may have be go pro, or explore other Twitter clients.

Installed Apps

  • Touchdown – Exchange Activesync client – $20
  • Where’s My Droid – locate by sending a text or e-mail
  • Twidroyd for Twitter – twitter client
  • Google Translate
  • WordPress – blogging tool
  • chompSMS – Texting client
  • Facebook for Android – Facebook client
  • YouTube – upgrade from default client
  • Google Maps – awesome, ties into Navigation which rivals, but will not replace my Garmin, and can show traffic overlays
  • Aidiko Book Reader – eBook reader, with large, free library
  • Google Voice – replaced Verizon voicemail, and use for international calls
  • DropBox – sync files with PC’s and web
  • Google Chrome to Phone – send web pages to your Droid – experimenting
  • GMail – upgrade of default client
  • NPR News – fair and balanced
  • BBC News – because US news pretty much sucks
  • Voice Search (Google) – improved client for voice search, marginal
  • Places Directory – ties into Google Maps, very useful when you travel
  • Astro File Manager – awesome, backup and restore apps and data to SD card
  • NYCMate – NYC bus and train maps – very handy if you travel to NYC.
  • Google Sky Map – awesome night sky map
  • Google Finance – stock market tracking app
  • Google Buzz widget – link to Google Buzz service
  • Tone Picker – MP3 ringtones (free)
  • Swype – alternate text entry app – ‘wipe’ your finger across the on-screen keyboard to spell words.  Awkward with alphanumeric data entry, but amazing with text.

Uninstalled Apps

These are applications I used on a regular basis.

  • HandCent – excellent SMS client, but I uninstalled because it gets very, very slow possibly due to the number of texts I retain (>10,000, every text in the past year).
  • Barcode Scanner – does a good job of scanning barcodes, with Google search integration to comparison shop.
  • Romote – Roku DVP Remote – awesome, awesome app.  We took our Roku ( on vacation, but forgot the remote.  I installed and configured the Roku Remote in a few minutes, and it worked seamlessly.  
Categories: Android, mobile, Software Tags: ,

Google Mail Android App Update

I have an original Droid, and while downloading updates today, I noticed a GMail application.  It didn’t show up as an update, but as a new application.  I installed it, and I am very impressed with the new features.  Message threads are easier to follow and it uses color highlights to good advantage.

Highly recommended, and I’m still puzzled as to why it wasn’t just an update of the native app.

Categories: Android, mobile, Software Tags: ,

Droid 2.2 firmware update (Froyo)

2010-08-06 1 comment

I waited until the official firmware release, but I’m impatient, and I have concerns about Verizon bastardizing some features (USB tethering, etc). 

The install was smooth, but I had to remove the battery after the restart when the system appeared to hang during initialization (eye of Sauron animation), then all was well. 

  • Minor interface changes to Google Mail and other apps. Home page interface updated. Performance and battery life at least as good as 2.1 build.
  • All existing apps work fine, the only difference I have noted to date is that the right scroll bar is not visible when some apps (Twitdroid, others) initialize.
  • Handcent SMS is much faster when initializing.
  • Google Mail interface – supports multiple selects and operations, flagging SPAM takes fewer keystrokes
  • Android Marketplace now has an Update All button – so you don’t have to select individual packages, download and OK install. 
  • Data entry – when you’re entering text using the screen, frequently used symbols are available (comma, apostrophe, etc). This is probably my favorite feature so far.
  • I’m using Touchdown, so I can’t comment on Exchange ActiveSync.
  • I need to test Bluetooth dial-by-voice and tethering my laptop for Internet access.

I will post a comprehensive review after using the update for a full work week.

Firmware and instructions –

Motorola Droid support site –

Categories: Android Tags: , ,

Droid GPS Problem and fix

2010-07-13 1 comment

Last Friday, my Droid GPS started acting up.  While trying to estimate my travel time from a bus on the NJ Turnpike, the Google Maps screen went blue.  After trying to reset my Location several times, I turned on different Layers, then zoomed out.  The screen was blue because the GPS thought I was in the Atlantic Ocean a few miles East of Ocean City, MD.

I looked around, and confirmed I was on the NJ Turnpike. 

Today, I went to the local Verizon tech, and she was able to resolve the problem by doing a *228 update, and removing the battery.

Things to note:

  • The tech said my last update was November, 2009, when I got the phone.
  • I know I did an update within the last month or so, because I was demonstrating it to one of my daughters.
  • The phone has been so stable, I haven’t removed the battery since before the Android 2.1 firmware update.
  • I have only turned the phone off twice in the last three months.

In the future, I plan to update the software (*228) monthly, and at least cycle the power on the phone to minimize problems and optimize operation of the phone.

Categories: Android, mobile Tags: , , ,

Test post from Droid

On the bus coming home from NYC. Testing WordPress Android app. Pretty impressive, allows administration as well as posting w/GPS tag.

Categories: mobile Tags: